TRIUMPH OVER OUR TRIALS
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
“For all things are for your sakes that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound unto the glory of God. For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day.” II Corinthians 4:15-16
Here the words, “faint not” mean, that we do not become “discouraged or spiritless or afraid.” (Amplified Version.) The trials of life are so hard sometimes, but God’s Word encourages us to walk on in victory knowing that God is in control, and is working out His divine plan in our lives. Ephesians 6:10 is a verse to remember when we are in trial, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”
“Our outward man” is speaking of our natural body, or who we are naturally. In Paul’s day, the persecution was so fierce against believers in Christ. Many were slain in hideous ways. We must realize that many are being put to death for the cause of Christ in our day in places around the world. Statistics show that there are more believers being martyred for Christ since the early 1900’s than in the early church period. Paul says, “though our outward man perish” speaking of how temporary this natural life and body is. But, “the inward man” is the new life of Christ, which came into our being when we received Christ as our Savior.
Note in verse 16, Paul says, “the inward man is renewed day by day.” Isaiah 28:10 says, “For precept (a commandment or guiding principal, whatever God speaks unto man) must be upon precept, precept upon precept. line upon line, here a little and there a little.” The “renewing day by day” is produced as we take in the Word of God day by day.. precept upon precept.” It is so important to read and meditate daily upon the wonderful precepts of God’s Word, so that our new man grows up into Christ in all things. With maturity in Christ, we gain strength to withstand the tests of this life. We are “renewed.” This word means, “to renovate” or “to restore to a former or better state.” We find in the Scripture that we are not just restored to the former state of Adam, the first man, but much more. Our standing in Christ as a believer is as a redeemed child of God in His provision, already seated with Christ in the heavens. We declared to be a NEW CREATION in Christ Jesus. Yet, we are always growing in Christ, as we continue to yield to His work in our lives daily, Romans 12:2 says, “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
How healthy, spiritually is your inward man? Are you renewing that part of you day by day? Yielding to the Lord and Holy Spirit, reading and studying the Word of God, strengthening the new life within you. If we do we will become grown up as a SON of the Living God. Spiritual maturity is what the Lord Jesus expects, as we take in the Word of God. Paul admonishes us to “Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” (II Tim. 2:15).
II Corinthians 4:17 says, “For this light affliction, which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The tests and trials make us cry out for the Lord’s strength and help causing us to rely on Him alone. “The eternal weight of glory” is the reward for enduring the trials and tests and being a victor over all things that come our way.
Paul said in II Timothy 4:4-8 that he had “fought a good fight and finished his course,” and that there was “laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge will give him at that day.” As we go through the rough times, believing the Lord and overcoming everything which is in our path, we too can lay hold of that great reward with the Lord. II Timothy 2:12 says, “If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him.”
Many of God’s people are being severely tried with illnesses, and others with very extreme trials of other sorts in the world today. Despite all this, God is faithful and more than able to deliver us is trials and tests we are going through. “Thanks be unto God which always causes us to triumph in Christ.” (II Cor. 2:14).
Notice that II Corinthians 4:18 says, “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seem are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” So, what determines our gaining this “eternal weight of glory” with Christ Jesus? The answer - do not look at the circumstances and trials of this life, but look beyond at the great reward for being faithful despite all the problems and tests. How easy it is to get our eyes on the insurmountable circumstances! Satan wants us to put our eyes on our failure, or someone else’s failure. When we look only to Jesus we are blessed and able to go on in victory. A song says. “Put your eyes on the prize and your home in the skies, God is still on the throne.” Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith...”. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Our part is to let Him have His way in our lives. “Thy will be done.”